Engineering science and education issues discussed

UZA News

On June 20, a meeting was held by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to discuss the training of engineering personnel and the improvement of higher education institutions.

In today’s competitive world, Uzbekistan is striving for industrial development using its own resources. Each year, 3,000 industrial enterprises are put into operation, creating approximately 150,000 jobs.

As part of state investment programs, projects worth 21 trillion UZS will be implemented this year. In addition, projects with foreign and regional investments totaling $37.5 billion are planned for the current year.

The government is placing great emphasis on science, education, and innovation. In the past four years alone, 2.2 trillion UZS has been allocated for 1,727 practical, innovative, fundamental, and startup projects. The cost of research and development has doubled.

However, despite these efforts, the results in this area and the number of highly qualified engineers are still insufficient. There is a gap between higher education institutions and the industry.

Therefore, the meeting also invited rectors from technical universities to address these issues.

The President first highlighted the problems in this area.

Annually, 67,000 specialists graduate from 36 state technical universities. However, the programs and specialties offered do not meet the requirements of manufacturers, resulting in 60% of engineers not working in their field of study.

Higher education institutions primarily focus on conducting fundamental research, with few practical developments in economics. Many engineering startups and innovative projects remain only on paper.

In contrast, foreign universities offer specialized areas such as “cost engineering,” “comparative engineering,” and “reverse engineering.” These specialties are not offered in Uzbek technical universities, forcing industries to spend significant amounts of money on training their employees abroad or hiring foreign specialists.

Despite a fivefold increase in higher education coverage in the last seven years, there is still low interest among young people in engineering and technical professions. Additionally, outdated equipment in universities and research laboratories, along with professors and teachers who are out of touch with practical industry, further hinder progress in this area. Rectors do not visit enterprises, do not familiarize themselves with new technologies, and do not study equipment and machines.

In the past four years, the number of university research contracts has tripled, and income from them has increased sixfold. However, the implementation of scientific research into production is slow, and not all researchers are successful in patenting their inventions.

The President presented new initiatives for the development of this area.

Based on best practices, the teaching and research processes in technical areas will be completely revamped. The current 36 universities and their branches will gradually be consolidated into 20 technical universities, which will fully adopt a dual education system.

Specialties that are not in demand in the labor market will be reduced, and some departments will be merged. The functions of student services will be digitized, and a “Registrar’s Office” will be created based on foreign experience.

Each university will establish partnerships with prestigious technical universities in developed countries such as Germany, Japan, China, Russia, Italy, Turkey, South Korea, and Singapore.

Under the “industry-enterprise-university” chain, each university will be assigned an industrial partner. This partnership will allow for the opening of departments at partner enterprises and the implementation of dual education. Enterprises will also allocate funds to equip these departments and incentivize teachers and students. Furthermore, students’ internships and graduate studies will take place at partner enterprises.

Thirty-two sectoral councils will be established in the ministry and enterprise system. Along with institutes, these councils will determine priority areas for scientific research in technical fields and serve as clients for these research projects.

In the first stage, ten universities will open higher engineering schools. These schools will offer two-year applied master’s programs, with candidates selected based on manufacturers’ orders. Enterprises will provide financial support for the creation and equipment of laboratories in these higher engineering schools, and the state will also allocate funds from the budget.

The status of pilot production enterprises of universities will be legally secured, providing them with the same benefits as residents of the IT Park. At least 60% of the employees in these enterprises will be doctoral students and students.

Starting next year, government grants for projects in technical areas will be increased fourfold. Partner organizations of universities will also be allowed to act as founders of enterprises.

Regional governors and industry leaders will be able to directly commission scientific and production projects worth up to 10 billion UZS from universities.

A system will be implemented in which at least half a percent of the cost of investment projects will be allocated towards scientific activities.

In addition, national competitions such as “Best Idea,” “Best Project,” and “Best Invention” will be held in the engineering field. Teachers, students, and practicing engineers will have the opportunity to participate, with the first-place prize being an electric car.

The top ten participants, authors of ideas, projects, and inventions will also be sent for internships in countries such as Germany, Japan, China, Russia, Italy, Turkey, South Korea, and Singapore.

The meeting continued as an open dialogue, with industry leaders, scientists, rectors, and engineers expressing their opinions on the development of science and education in the engineering field.

It was instructed to prepare a draft decree based on the proposals.

“For accelerated economic development, we need highly qualified process engineers like air. If every minister, industry leader, rector, professor, and teacher deeply feels responsibility and works hard, we will achieve this,” said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.


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